The Battle for France Against Terror and Islam

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, when speaking of the recent terror attacks in France, made it clear that Israel stands with France. Israel and France are brothers in arms – Fraternité (brotherhood). He could well have echoed the French writer Alexandre Dumas who wrote in the Three Musketeers “one for all, and all for one”. The same slogan has been applied many times through the ages in various political, military and social settings including the NATO alliance. War is being waged against French citizens. The same war is being waged against Israeli citizens. The United States in the days after 9/11 labeled their response as “the global war against terror”. The Liberté (liberty) of the world is being challenged by Islamic radicals.

Some of the specific defenders in this global war are Israel, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Australia, They are countries that are non-Islamic yet have faced attacks by Islamic terrorists. The terrorist attacks have been against citizens; unarmed civilians who have not been able to defend themselves at the time of the attack. In any countries laws, including Islamic Sharia law this is defined as murder. Murder by cowards. The harm that this has caused Islam has been far greater than the reason and cause that the terrorists claim as a justification for their attacks.

No doubt there are many Muslims around the world, especially in France, this weekend who are fearing for their lives and livelihoods. The French government and non-Muslim French citizens cannot be blamed for provoking anti-Islamic sentiments. It was only last week that France voted in the United Nations Security Council for the Palestinian statehood resolution, whereas the United Kingdom abstained and the United States vetoed it. A few months ago the French parliament recognized the Palestinian territories as a state. France believes in Egalité (equality) for all yet her efforts have come at a high price for the Liberté (liberty) of her own citizens.

This is not the first time that Islam has whacked and spit at western Christian countries who have aimed to help Muslims. A previous significant time was 9/11 in 2001. The 9/11 Islamic inspired attacks against American citizens in New York and Washington came soon after American troops had deployed to the Balkans. American troops throughout the 1990s had risked their lives, and some died, to prevent ethnic cleansing and the destruction of Islamic religious buildings in Bosnia.

No gratitude rather the opposite is the feeling that anyone senses. The attacks in France this week will without any doubt spur movements into battle for France to become more French than the French. Indeed the murder of satire is no laughing matter nor will it remain forgotten – rather it will compel responses. The horrifying carnage at Charlie Hebdo, at the Paris Kosher store, and the murder of the French policewomen is a reminder that irreverence is the lifeblood of freedom.

The Islamic terrorist lacks the knowledge and power of history. Graphic satire will double its efforts in the war against terror, as it once did in the Catholic verse Protestant struggles over the last three centuries in Europe. The Dutch, who invented the illustrated news gazette in the middle of the 17th century, saw themselves as the victims of religious fury. Their graphic counter-attack began with popular illustrated histories of their rebellion against the Spanish monarchy. It broadened into a regular weapon of partisan polemics inside the French Republic as well as against foreign threats to “Holland’s Freedom”.

French President Holland may well revive the efforts of the first great modern graphic satirist Romeyn de Hooghe, enlisted by William III at the end of the 17th century in his relentless war with King Louis XIV. Then De Hooghe obliged with sprawling cartoons representing the wars against the French monarch and his allies as a battle between liberty and religious despotism. This set the scene for the great tradition of ridicule to heirs in Britain, then to America and then back to continental Europe: to Daumier and Cruikshank; the begetters of Krokodil and Private Eye, Spitting Image and Canard Enchainé as well as Charlie Hebdo.

The Islamic perpetrators of this weeks attacks claiming to be the self-righteous have killed the satirists but they will never annihilate satire itself. Just the opposite because the unhinged perpetrators are not just murderers they are clowns as well. They are clowns because eighty percent of comedians come from a place of tragedy. They don’t get enough love. They have to overcome their problems by making people laugh. The creative elements needed to produce humor are strikingly similar to those characterizing the cognitive style of people with psychosis – both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Yes, their Islamic extremist brethren are laughing. Yes, this laughter will soon turn to tears. I think that Islamic extremists should take care where they sleep, where they eat and where they pray from tonight onward.

The French nuclear arsenal, the French Foreign Legion, and France’s allies across the world in a global Fraternité have two objectives. To globally wipe out all sources of  Islamic inspired and other types of terror and to ensure that France remains French. Being French means Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. This means that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Islamic radicalism has challenged Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité by cowardly attacks against defenseless civilians bringing the world to unite. The Islamic perpetrators know that the Qur’an specifies the principle of Qisas (retaliation) and also prescribes Diyya (compensation) in case of both intentional and unintentional murder as recorded and practiced in the Hadith. A true Muslim will therefore understand the failure to adhere to this and the failure to pay Diyya. France is entitled to, and is unconstrained in, Qisas (retaliation).


About the Author
Dr Glen Segell is Fellow at the Ezri Center for Iran & Persian Gulf Studies, University of Haifa.
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